Site-based gaming company Niantic knows that the business model is inextricably linked to the outdoors, so it is in its best interest to help preserve that environment to give players a place to play.
So for the second straight year, Niantic will encourage Pokémon GO to help with cleaning events on Earth Day, April 22, while catching pocket monsters. This year, Ingress ventures are invited to play and pick up junk too.
] "We are pleased to announce our second annual Earth Day campaign Coming in April As some of you remind us, we celebrated Earth Day last year and made a great impact around the world, "says Yennie Solheim Fuller, social economy and social impact employee at Niantic, in a blog post.
"With thousands of players, one hand lent over 68 events and countless non-governmental organizations leading the way we gathered 6.5 tons of debris, making room for cleaner and healthier communities. Saying we were proud of all our players is an understatement. "
Players participating will reap benefits through game rewards, with rewards that increase based on the participant's milestones. For example, if 7,000 players gather for one event, Pokémon GO players can earn twice as much as stardust and creature sweets, win the Groudon in raid and find Shiny Diglett, and take advantage of the increased Pokémon look.  This year, Niantic has once again engaged Playmob as a clearing house for organizing events, and this partnership has established a web site to enable players to find events near them and send incidents events. But individual players and small groups can also qualify by tagging @NianticLabs on Twitter and using #augmentedreality hashtag when sharing content.
"Many of our partners are not just hosting cleaning events but engaging in long-term impact projects trying to have significant positive effects in local communities around the world," says Solheim Fuller.
"They are looking to get involved in communities to make a difference over a day, and in the long run. By participating in these Earth Day establishments and learning more about local NGOs, players can have a greater impact on their communities and the health of the planet. Long-term impact projects include educational programs for school programs and community organizations, as well as replacing pollutants with new plants. "
It is not often that players can help improve their communities while playing games, but Niantic has made the case that its games can be used as a tool to bring people together for higher purposes. The company financed a study on 19459024 which showed the municipalities how the players can also be used to engage citizens.
Because it is designed to get players from the couch and into the outside world, site-based enhanced game models are already the best suited genre to bring people together. And as enhanced reality platforms improve, the opportunities for interactivity between players and the environment can be even more useful in achieving real world goals such as those outlined by Earth Day.